The G-FORCE ZM electric bike is one of those e-bikes that borrows heavily from motorcycle styling while maintaining its street-legal status as an electric bicycle. But the motorcycle influence doesn’t just run skin deep; it’s also got a powerful ride to match.
G-FORCE ZM tech specs
- Motor: 750W geared rear hub motor
- Top speed: 28 mph (45 km/h)
- Range: Claimed 60-80 miles (96-128 km)
- Battery: 48V 20Ah (960 Wh)
- Weight: 85 pounds (38.5 kg)
- Max load: 400 pounds (181 kg)
- Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes, 160mm rotors
- Extras: 7-speed Shimano drivetrain, large color LCD display, LED headlight and tail light, half-twist throttle, removable battery, padded bench seat with space for second passenger, fenders, kickstand, mag wheels
G-FORCE ZM video review
Want to watch me take this e-bike on a series of test rides? Check out my video review below!
Rides like a small-format electric motorcycle
Everything about the G-FORCE ZM screams moto, not bike.
I’d call it a fairly true-to-form electric moped, even if it technically fits into e-bike classification.
Yes, it’s a class 3 e-bike in the US, but it rides more like a moped that has vestigial pedals there for resting your feet. You could pedal it in the event of a dead battery, but the 85 pound (38 kg) bike isn’t going to be a pleasure to pedal at anything more than around 4-5 mph (8 km/h). And lord help you if there’s even a small uphill section on your pedal ride back home.
But with the option for a 48V and 20Ah battery (or a smaller 13Ah battery if you want to save some cash), you should have plenty of range for a day trip. And since the $1,899 entry-level model with the 13Ah battery is only $100 cheaper than the 20Ah version, I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want to spend that extra Benjamin to get 50% more range.
In addition to decent range, the G-FORCE ZM is also fast and peppy with a 28 mph (45 km/h) top speed. The 750W Bafang motor is actually putting out closer to 1,300 watts of peak power, and the bike has good acceleration under my 150 pound (68 kg) load.
The dual suspension setup makes for a comfortable ride, though I don’t know how the suspension would fare under the max 400 pound (181 kg) weight rating (or if the acceleration would be nearly as peppy).
The 110mm-travel suspension fork is adjustable, but the rear suspension is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of situation. It’s fine for me and makes for a good ride, but it’s not exactly going to handle a downhill mountain bike trail. Speed bumps are a little more its pace.
Which also begs the question, why did they give the bike knobby tires? The 4″ fat tires in 20″ diameter size are great for street riding, except that the knobbies don’t give quite as much traction as I’d like on asphalt. You could theoretically go off-roading with these tires, but the suspension isn’t really designed for anything more than a shortcut across a fairly manicured grassy field. I’d have preferred to see street tires instead of all-terrain tires, but tires can of course be swapped at home or by your local bike shop.
I really like the tires that Specialized showed off on its low-cost utility bike, which feature a street-optimized center patch with knobbies on the edges for better turning off-road. That would have been a decent compromise here.
Another upgrade I would have liked to see on the G-FORCE ZM would have been larger disc rotors. The hydraulic disc brakes seem fine, but the smaller 160mm rotors are definitely going to heat up quicker when repeatedly stopping this heavy bike from higher speeds. It seems to me that 180mm rotors would have been a better choice.
The G-FORCE ZM still scores several points in my book though, even if I would have like to see some brake and tire upgrades.
The bright and colorful LCD screen is easy to read at a glance and looks much nicer than the displays we often see on similarly priced e-bikes.
The motorcycle tank-shaped battery is a neat feature that adds to the fun vibe of the bike, though I can pretty much already guarantee you that there are going to be armchair physicists in my comment section below educating us on the travesty of having that weight higher up on the frame. In practice, the rider’s center of mass, which is around 15x heavier than the battery and much higher up, is going to have way more of an effect on the bike’s handling. And for a bike that is going to spend most of its time riding straight in a bike lane or making easy 90-degree turns on city streets, the higher center of mass from that tank-battery just isn’t going to be very noticeable. So for me, I’ll enjoy the fun motorcycle-styled design.
It’s true that a lower mounted battery would technically be better. But having ridden the bike and also having ridden others with lower batteries, I can tell you that the difference is simply quite small, all things considered.
There are other nice features that often get left off these moped-style e-bikes, such as a 7-speed Shimano transmission and a USB charger built into the handlebar display. The massive LED headlight and included LED tail light make the bike plenty visible, which is important for commuter-style riding at night.
While I can nitpick about the G-FORCE ZM’s smaller brake rotors and tire choice that doesn’t quite make sense, there’s a lot more here that I like than that I don’t.
The full-suspension setup normally jacks the price up quite high, but a starting cost of just $1,899 feels reasonable for a Class 3 e-bike with dual suspension, hydraulic brakes and some nice added features.
A pair of footpegs are just about all that is missing to turn this into a pretty awesome urban cruiser, giving motorcycle vibes in an e-bike price class.
It may not have the gravitas of a SUPER73 or other big name moped-style electric bikes, but it sure offers a fun and reasonably priced ride!
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Author: Micah Toll